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Comment Re:gold is a contaminant (Score 1) 64

They use electron radiation. The radiation creates defects in the crystal lattice. Those defects act as recombination centers for holes and electrons. The increased recombination rate correspondingly increases the gain of bipolar transistors.

Like Tim the Gecko said, we're talking about carrier lifetime (Tau), not device lifetime.

Comment Re:Is gold is cheaper than silicon? (Score 3, Interesting) 64

Our foundry uses 200 mm wafers. I think the cost is around $20 per wafer. I don't know, because the substrates are so cheap, they don't even charge us. Epi is a little more expensive because of the extra processing -- maybe $50.

I imagine the cost scales with wafer diameter. 200 mm is relatively old technology.

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